Friday 6 August 2010

Poignant and Inspiring First Novel

Finished August 6
Amphibian by Carla Gunn
I loved this book! I could hardly put it down, starting it yesterday evening and finishing it at breakfast this morning.
The novel centers on 9-year-old Phineas Walsh, a boy who loves knowledge and is passionate about the environment. Phin has created his own world Ruell, that he writes about and draws pictures of. It is a world with a variety of life forms, interdependent on each other, but sometimes destructive (similar to earth).
He is also hooked on the Green Channel, a channel focused on the world and environment.
Phin's parents are separated, and have been for about a year. His mother is a journalist who works from home most afternoons. His father is a foreign correspondent who spends most of his time away, but phones Phin often to stay in touch. He is also close to his Granny, who is a biologist and shares his interest in the environment. Phin's best friend is Bird (Richard L'Oiseau), and he has a cat named Fiddledee.
Phin's mom thinks he worries too much about the environment and worries herself about the effect on his life. She begins taking him to a psychologist. Phin also has some issues at school with a bully, Lyle, and with information from his teacher that doesn't seem right to him (and I agree!!)
Phin caught my heart and I loved his lively intelligence. This book gets inside his head, and makes sense.

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